Oregon Republican Theocrat Seeks 100% Christian Turnout

With all the attention given to the Texas GOP, no-one seems to have noticed that the theocrats also hold at least some influence in the Oregon Republican Party. Writing in The Oregonian (link via Christianity Today), former Oregon Republican congressional district chairman David Crowe chides Christians who failed to vote in 2000:

This failure to exercise our most fundamental citizenship duty cannot continue, lest we allow the secular minority to destroy the Christian foundations upon which our nation was established.

…Far too many Americans, by their indifference to revealed truth, are in rebellion to God, and far too many American Christians are ambivalent when unrighteousness prevails through unenlightened legislation and judicial decision.

A Jeremiad against abortion, MTV, gay marriage and the removal of the Ten Commandments from courthouses follows, along with this observation:

Truthfulness is not important to most secular candidates and some Christian candidates. It has become the acceptable mode of politics to posture and deceive.

Crowe, a Vietnam veteran and ordained graduate of the Dallas Theological Seminary, runs Restore America, a “grassroots” organization that was founded in 1999 and which hopes to achieve “100 percent Christian voter registration and turnout in the November general election”. Restore America is endorsed by Perry Atkinson, another former Oregon GOP chair. Although Crowe seems unlinked to many of the other theocrats we have considered recently, his political vision is a familiar story of religious coercion dressed up in the language of freedom:

Our parents are not to take God’s place and rule in the family independently of Him. Our teachers are not to take God’s place and teach as if there were no authority that gives all the facts in the universe meaning. Civil government is not to take God’s place and rule independently of His one government (Isaiah 9:6,7; cf. Romans 13:1-7). Whenever any government oversteps its proper magisterium, “We must obey God rather than men” (Acts 5:29; cf. Daniel 3:16-18; 6:10ff).

But don’t we act as if someone else is god? We want the state to educate our children, to nurse us when we get sick, to establish homes for us when we get old, to protect us from ourselves, to care for the poor, and to support us when we are out of work. Man often makes the state civil government into an idol.

An epic list of affirmations and denials follow, which include the following highlights:

We deny that any final authority outside the Bible (e.g., reason, experience, majority opinion, elite opinion, nature, etc.) ought to be accepted as the standard of government for any individual, group, or jurisdiction…

We deny that man’s government is independent and unlimited, and that any government can claim independence from God on the basis that governments arise out of “social contracts.”…

We affirm that Jesus Christ, supporting the jurisdictional separation between Church and state set forth in the Old Testament, acknowledged and supported the legitimate but divinely limited jurisdiction of civil government when He commanded us to “…render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s; and to God the things that are God’s” (Matthew 22:22).

While opposing eccleslocracy, the control of the state by a particular church,

We deny that Christians should take fellow Christians to civil courts, and that the state ought to usurp the legitimate and God-ordained jurisdiction of ecclesiastical courts…

We affirm that civil governments everywhere ought to follow a Biblical moral order…

We deny that civil government has a duty to care financially for widows, orphans, aliens, and the truly needy through a coercive tax system, unless the primary providers totally fail to fulfill their responsibility to do so.

And, rather obscurely:

We deny that any civil government ought to overturn its obligation to maintain just weights and measures by issuing any type of fiat currency

This is all inspired by the Coalition for Revival, which endorses Crowe’s organization. The CoR is run by Jay Grimstead, a disciple of Francis Schaeffer, and is focused on bringing a wide variety of conservative Christians together along fundamentalist lines for political action. Its “42 Articles of the Essentials of a Christian World View” (no homage to Douglas Adams intended, I’m sure) can be seen here.

Other endorsements come from a variety of religious figures, the most well-known being Frank Damazio and the most odd-sounding being Clifford Mansley of the “Protestant Committee on Scouting”.

But what of the actual Oregon Republican Party platform? Well:

We believe all authority flows from The Creator to the parent and family. Parents have the inalienable right as well as the responsibility to form the character of their children, including but not limited to, correction, religious instruction and expression, general values and education. We believe it is the role of the parent and family to direct topics of education in sexual matters, sex related diseases, birth control, ethics and moral values. Governmental or public agencies shall obtain parental permission before discussing sex-related subjects with minor age children.

How this fits with a later commitment to “educating the public” about AIDS is not explained (and are there any non-“minor age” children?). Further:

We recognize the practice of homosexuality to be a matter of personal choice, and morally wrong. We oppose efforts to teach, promote or present homosexuality in public schools.

Also:

Science [education] shall include scientific creationism.

Plus, among much else:

We support academic freedom in higher education and oppose policies which call for the teaching of secular humanist/socialist theories as the only acceptable world view.

One Response

  1. “We deny that any civil government ought to overturn its obligation to maintain just weights and measures by issuing any type of fiat currency”

    This one appears to me to be a reference to maintaining the gold standard. Paper money not supported by precious metals would be the illegitimate “fiat currency.” This is a big issue among many at the convergence point between the militia/survialist crowd and certain strains of fundamentalists in the West. I had the ill fortune to be sequestered with one for three days on a murder jury.

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